Good To Remember That

You ever stop to think that your whole life might hang on a decision you don’t actually decide? That your fate, everything that will happen to you from this point forward, hangs from a  thread no thicker than a spider’s web? Of course you don’t. Nobody does. You go through you day on automatic pilot, […]

Bluebirds Over

“You know what Jamey said about you?” “Your brother? He’s never even met me.” “About all you Yanks, actually. He said you’re overpaid, oversexed  and over here.” “Not original, but true enough for now. Doesn’t change how I feel about you.” She pushed away a wisp of hair, fire-red in the rare sunlight. “So it’s not just […]

101 Words: The Bereaved

Her expression is wrong. And her hair. For the first time, he is glad she is dead. This would have upset her. He goes to the bathroom to wash his hands. They smell like the funeral director’s oily aftershave– flowers and death. He washes them twice, sniffs his fingers. The smell won’t go away. He […]

In The Wings

The old man was as greedy with his bottle as he was lazy with his seniority. Still, he was company. And such stories! Geoffrey took his own bottle from his pocket, raised it. “Cheers.” “Bumpers,” said the old man. He drained his pint in a long swallow, holding the empty bottle at length to be sure […]

Paris in November

Richaud picked his way down the stairs. Breakfast was included in the pension, and despite her many failings, Madame Flir made acceptable coffee. The stairwell stank of cabbage. Richaud lit a Gauloises  to negate this everyday irritation. He settled into the chair as Madame Flir set down the bowl of coffee and pitcher of hot milk. […]

Human Faces, Faces He Knows

Andrade remembered almost nothing of his father. A small man, like Andrade himself, quick-tempered, silent. He was never home during the day. Other tradesmen might get rained out, but Andrade’s father was a master stonemason and worked indoors. He would leave the tenement before dawn and return long after the children were asleep. Sundays he spent in […]

A Quiet Conversation

“What’s it like?” “You don’t remember? It’s only been a year.” “No. I really can’t remember. Except that it used to hurt all the time.” “I don’t hurt.” “You don’t always feel the burning of the air in your lungs? Your heart banging away inside your chest and never getting rest? All the acid churning in […]

It Has To Be Different

You want so badly for it to be different this time. It will be different, you keep saying. Different different different. Like a mantra. For one thing, it will be morning. For another, you’re older now. The longest journey begins with a single step.  You saw that once, on a poster at school. Or maybe it was drops of […]

Letters to Himself

The pink water had long gone cold when she found him. Why is it pink? was her first question, answered when she saw the gash on his submerged wrist. He must have taken pills too, she thought, since the cut looked superficial. Insanely, she wondered if he’d used her bubble bath while running the tub. […]

It’s Never Really Over

I was stop-lossed twice, so I did four tours. The first time it wasn’t so bad coming home, since I knew it was temporary. Midway through my second tour we started calling the enemy insurgents instead of soldiers. They changed the game, making bombs out of TNT and old 105 shells. IEDs could look like a […]